Cold winter nights with any combination of wind, snow, or persistent drizzle can make us glad to get into the warmth of our homes. A visit last week to Streetlife in Blackpool was a reminder of the increasingly more visible needs of young people who are homeless. Whether city, town or village our communities are noticing a marked increase in those who are sat on the pavements with an empty Costa cup for loose change or pacing the spot whilst waiting for a sale of The Big Issue.
Blackpool has acute issues involving young people and Streetlife, with its 8-bed night shelter for 16 to 25s and a Centre half a mile away offering support during the day, is meeting some of those needs. Local congregations provide support, especially in the provision of a cooked meal which the overnighters can enjoy around a central table with the two staff/volunteers.
In the pictures (a) the sculpture on the plaza next to St John’s Church with the night shelter attached to the Church, and (b) our EM2 ministers Frin, Pam and Jim together with Lesley Husselbee and Tim Mountain (on the right - our new Learning & Development Officer for the Synod) in one of the small “cells” that provide a secure room with a bed and comfy chair for each overnight guest.
Please pray for:
- Streetlife and all those young people it supports, with the likelihood that all the beds will be full until at least Easter
- each of our Synod’s congregations and their involvement in the community to engage with social needs, whether with individuals, young people, the elderly or families
- the way in which the Gospel can be communicated through our involvement in the community where we live
- our ministers as they work to forge partnerships within communities that will enable others to experience the Kingdom of God